What better place to be than the slopes of Jackson Hole or Aspen when winter rolls around? Heading down challenging ski runs brings an adrenaline rush that few other activities do. As you pack to head out to the ski resort, there is one crucial consideration you need to make; how safe will you be? Although the activities are fun, they can also be dangerous.
There are several ways you can ensure that your time on the slopes does not end up costing you dearly in terms of your health.
Invest in a Quality Helmet
Your head holds arguably the most crucial organ in your body. It’s only right that it should be the part of you that you take care of first when shopping for winter safety gear. Whether or not you need a helmet will depend on the activity you’ll be undertaking. If you are hurtling down the slopes on a snowboard attempting new tricks, or winter biking, you will need a helmet.
Should your chosen sport require you to don a helmet, there are a few things you need to bear in mind when shopping. Your helmet needs to fit snugly on your head and stay in place even when you make sudden movements. If you will be wearing a beanie beneath it, you need to try the helmet with a beanie on. You should also wear your goggles when trying the helmet to ensure you get the right fit.
Next, you need to confirm that the helmet has safety certification. You also need to read in the fine print how many impacts the helmet is designed to take before you need to replace it.
Don’t Skip the Base Layers
If you plan on engaging in any form of outdoor activity during winter, you need to protect yourself from bodily harm and the extreme cold. Spending any amount of time in sub-zero temperatures without layering up properly will expose you to the dangers of hypothermia and frostbite.
To ensure you maintain your core body temperature while out in frigid conditions, you need a great base layer that will effectively keep the cold air out. It should also prevent any moisture from the environment from penetrating through to your skin. It should also allow your body heat to dissipate without you accumulating sweat, which can make your body temperature drop.
Your base layer should help you remain comfortable throughout your activity. The last thing you need is your tights rubbing uncomfortably against your skin as you do battle against the slopes. It can be an unwelcome distraction that can affect the performance of competitive athletes.
Protect Your Eyes
The big glasses with the reflective tint you see professional skiers and snowboarders wearing are more than just a fashion statement. They provide crucial protection for your eyes against the UV rays of the sun. Sunlight reflected against the white snow can be particularly harsh on the eyes. Exposure to this light can cause eye conditions that can lead to partial or total loss of sight in the long term.
Prescription sports sunglasses are available if you have an existing eye condition and don’t want them to affect your performance in your chosen winter sport. These glasses will also prevent particles, snowflakes, small insects, and other elements from finding their way into your eyes. If you will be playing ice hockey or any other contact sport, sports glasses will enhance eye protection against any impact.
Don’t Skip the Warm-Up
Any fitness coach will be quick to tell you how important it is to get warmed up before embarking on rigorous physical activity. Warm-up is even more crucial when going into winter sports because your core body temperature will be much lower. 10 minutes of light exercise should be enough to get your heart rate and body temperature high enough to reduce the possibility of injury.
It is also important to stay in shape in the time leading up to your winter activities. Maintain a regular exercise regime in which you have at least three workouts every week. In this way, you won’t shock your muscles when you hit the slopes and end up sore.
As you look forward to perfecting your skills in your winter sport of choice, it is important not to overlook your safety. If you will be out skiing or cycling with your kids, you need to ensure their safety as well. Take every measure to avoid or reduce the impact of accidents as well as the effects of exposure to extreme cold.
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